I subscribed in Google Reader to Japanese Word of the Day. Looking through it's archives, the featured word for May 22 was balloon. The word for it is fuusen (ふうせん), which in Kanji looks like 風船. The literal meaning of those characters in Japanese or Chinese is "wind boat". How interesting. Does this mean there are only helium balloons in Japan?
Oh wait! Maybe they meant more like a vessel of air. That makes more sense.